It’s another great afternoon in the Amazon and I have had such a productive day so far! Today was the first day of shooting for the cultural home and lifestyle magazine. I was able to travel to the part of the rainforest where the natives live and really get a feel for their culture and lifestyle. Back in the States, it’s amazing how we rely so much on the things we think we need on a daily basis. Sometimes we are so distracted with technology that we forget to take the time to really be present and in the moment with our environment, friends, family and even our own feelings. Interacting with some of the natives really helped to put things into perspective for me. By the end of the day I’d vowed to myself to spend more time outdoors appreciating the finer things in life. Even if just to grab a picnic rug and head outside with some loved ones. In these little ways we can such as a simple picnic, we can begin to remember what’s important in life.
Here in the Amazon, they don’t have television to distract them from tending to their kids, nor do their kids have tons of video games to distract them from listening to their parents effectively. Within their villages, they truly act as a unit; helping one another to strengthen their communities as a whole. I’m able to enjoy all of this behind the scenes of my camera. One of the things I love about lifestyle photography is that I’m able to catch those candid moments without any prompts, scripts or direction. What the viewers are seeing in my pictures are the rawest expressions of our human experiences. Now even though lifestyle photography gives me a little more creative freedom than most photographers to shoot these moments, there is still a certain art to it that really helps things flow easily. Since I have a little break before getting started on my next shoot set, I thought I’d give you guys a few general tips on how to shoot lifestyle photography should you ever choose to delve into it.
Expect the Unexpected!
When it comes to lifestyle photography, you have to know what’s coming next. I know this may sound a little backwards being that this type of photography is all about the candid and priceless moments, but hear me out. In order to get your shutter to catch the moments at just the right times, you have to already be in place to anticipate the moment that will define the picture and help complete the story you’re trying to tell without words. It’s kind of like listening to a comedian build up to his punchline so that you can have that big hearty laugh you’ve been waiting to release.
Consider All Angles and Get Moving!
Remember, you are not always going to be bound by certain parameters. Depending on your setting, you can have anything from just a small living room to a huge backyard at your disposal so you want to make sure that you take full advantage of all the perspectives you can shoot from. Your camera should always be ready and mobile. Believe it or not, shooting from different angles will allow you to catch precious moments that you would have not been able to capture had you not changed positions!
It’s all in the Details!
Being a lifestyle photographer essentially indicates that you have a crazy super-ability to pay attention to detail. What is it about your subject or subjects that is the most captivating? What is drawing you in the most while you are carefully observing these irreplaceable snapshots in time? More than likely, bringing those mesmerizing details to the forefront will allow your viewers admiring your work to see the exact beauty that you saw as well.
There Will Be Tears
Although lifestyle photography consists of many pictures of smiles, laughter, family bonding, and other pleasant events, there are going to be moments where you will experience the complete opposite. However, don’t shy away from this! Life is comprised of a beautiful balance of both joy and sadness. If anything, you want to capture these moments to portray an even more raw feeling of the ebb and flow of life that we are all familiar with it.
And Not a Picture to be Wasted
In this genre, every shot has the potential to be gold! With more commercial shooting, you have to set up the shot to make sure you deliver exactly what is expected. If you miss the shot, those pictures are usually tossed first after they are uploaded for editing. With shooting lifestyle, the “oops!” moments just add on to the candid story that you’re trying to tell. It’s important to keep in mind that you’re not looking for perfection, but rather the imperfect moments that make it all worthwhile.
I could go on and on with a million tips that I have learned over the time I have been traveling the world shooting home and lifestyle but I would be writing a book! I wish I could stay and bring more tips, but it’s now time for me to get back to shooting the second set of my own lifestyle photos. In the meantime, check out these additional tips!